Saturday 3 January 2009

The progressive opportunity

Like many political blogs, Next Left has just about kept ticking over during the Christmas holidays. By contrast, perhaps the most indefatigible blogger of the holiday season has been Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA. After confining himself to just one brief Christmas Day posting on the prospects for the LibDems "as I don’t want to seem too obsessive", he has embarked on a week long examination of the quest for a new progressive politics.

Taylor begins by outlining the opportunity for a more ambitious progressive platform, and his subsequent series of five posts are collected here.

I am not going to attempt a summary, but the central thrust is around the progressive opportunity to challenge an atomistic individualism without retreating to traditional hierarchical approaches, through greater attention to the social construction of identity, opportunity and our ability to pursue the good life, individually and collectively.

This idea of 'the good individual in a good society' places more emphasis on the dispersal of power and the quality of citizenship in an egalitarian society, and so seemed to me to have several points of connection with the argument made by Stuart White and others about the central contribution which a revival of democratic republicanism could make to a new politics on the left.

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